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Senate rules of procedure

February 5, 2019  ·  James Wallner
The Senate’s rules of procedure are comprised of five parts: the Constitution; Standing Rules; statutory rules; standing orders; and precedents. The interaction of these component parts creates the procedural architecture… Read More

Mitch McConnell said the 115th Congress was ‘the best,’ but it’s more dysfunctional than ever

February 4, 2019  ·  James Wallner
A top spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., summed up the legislative achievements of the Republican-controlled 115th Congress as such: “The most accomplished Congress in decades.” McConnell … Read More

ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

February 1, 2019  ·  Marian Currinder
G. William Hoagland, “The shutdown horror show was bad, but beware the reruns,” Roll Call: “The latest shutdown has been a lesson in how each side needs something to… Read More

Packing Supreme Court with more seats does nothing for democracy

January 31, 2019  ·  Sarah Turberville, Anthony Marcum
With control of the House for the first time since 2011, Democrats have proposed a number of legislative initiatives, including ways to reform the federal judiciary. Indeed, following the confirmation… Read More

OK, so the House wants to reform itself? Here’s what it should really do.

January 30, 2019  ·  Casey Burgat, Kevin Kosar
Early this month, on the opening day of the 116th Congress, something unusual happened: The House of Representatives took a step to reform itself. Legislators approved a package… Read More

Republicans propose using standing order to nuke Senate rules

January 29, 2019  ·  James Wallner
Senate Republicans are threatening to go nuclear if Democrats do not support a deal to lower the maximum amount of debate time that presidential nominations can receive after cloture is… Read More

How House committees get their money

January 29, 2019  ·  Daniel Schuman
Committee funding in the House of Representatives is accomplished through a somewhat quirky process. Appropriators in the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee set a top dollar amount for the committees… Read More

Partisan competition is not the cause of Congress’s dysfunction

January 28, 2019  ·  James Wallner
Speaking at the annual meeting of Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa society in 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson maintained that it was the scholar’s duty to show people “facts amidst appearances.”… Read More

ICYMI: Top reads on Congress

January 25, 2019  ·  Marian Currinder
Carl Hulse and Emily Cochrane, “McConnell and Pelosi Have a Fraught Relationship. The Shutdown Hasn’t Helped,” New York Times: “The two congressional leaders are ideological opposites who are… Read More

McConnell-Schumer agreement attempts to block unauthorized action

January 24, 2019  ·  James Wallner
Last year, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced shortly before the Senate adjourned for the holidays that he and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY., agreed that the… Read More